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How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay in Virginia?


Virginia workers’ compensation may cover both medical benefits and wage replacement benefits. 

Medical benefits are determined based on the worker’s treatment costs. What many workers want to know is how to calculate their lost wages, and how much wage replacement they could receive.

The amount of wage replacement pay you can get is based on your average weekly wage (AWW) before your injury or illness. Here, we show how to compute your AWW and how to assess your potential compensation based on this figure.

Contact a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer if you need help with a claim. 

Calculating Your Average Weekly Wage

The AWW computation uses all your pay stubs from the 52 weeks prior to your work injury or illness. This includes your per-diem pay as well as any overtime, bonuses, commissions, and the like. 

Add up all the gross earnings — not the take-home pay — from that 52-week period, and divide that by 52. The resulting figure is your average weekly wage.

If you haven’t been employed at the same company for at least 52 weeks, the calculation may be done using the pay of a similarly employed person at the company or at a similar place of employment.

The AWW is not necessarily the same amount you’ll get as worker’s compensation. This figure is only the basis for the computation of that compensation.

Calculating Your Workers’ Comp Using Average Weekly Wage

Worker’s compensation for lost wages is computed using methods described in the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. These methods vary according to the type of disability that limits the worker’s ability to work.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

This is when your doctor allows you to return to work but with some restrictions, causing you to have reduced hours or light-duty work only.

The formula for TPD wage loss compensation is: two-thirds (66.66 percent) of the difference between your average weekly wages and your current light-duty wages.

For example, if you earned $500 a week prior to your injury, but are now receiving just $200 weekly due to your restrictions, the difference between the two is $300. Two-thirds of that is $200 — that is your weekly payment for temporary partial disability.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

If your doctor says you cannot work yet because of your job injury or illness, you may be compensated for your missed work days.

The formula for TTD wage loss compensation is: two-thirds (66.66 percent) of your average weekly wages.

For example, if your AWW was $750, two-thirds of that is $500. That is your weekly payment for temporary total disability.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)

Permanent partial disability is when your doctor says you have reached “maximum medical improvement” and thus your condition is not expected to improve from this point on. Your doctor can then give you a “permanent impairment rating,” a number used for worker’s comp calculation.

The formula for PPD wage benefits is: your permanent impairment rating multiplied by two-thirds (66.66 percent) of your average weekly wage, and the product multiplied by the number of weeks specified in the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (§ 65.2-503).

Here’s a hypothetical example:

  • You lost the use of one leg with an impairment rating of 0.10.
  • Your average weekly wage was $750. Two-thirds of that is $500.
  • $500 multiplied by 0.10 is $50.
  • According to the worker’s comp law, the loss of leg function is compensable for 175 weeks.
  • $50 multiplied by 175 weeks is $8,750. That is your PPD compensation payment.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)

If your injury or illness is so severe that you are permanently and totally unable to work, you may be entitled to wage loss benefits for the rest of your life. The weekly payment is two-thirds (66.66 percent) of your average weekly wages prior to injury or illness.

Death Benefits

If your loved one died due to an on-the-job injury or disease, you may be entitled to these death benefits:

  • Burial expenses up to $10,000
  • Transportation expenses up to $1,000
  • Compensation to dependents, as prescribed by Virginia Code §65.2-512.

Does Virginia Have Limits on Workers’ Compensation?

Yes, there are minimum and maximum amounts for weekly worker’s comp payments. As of July 1, 2021, the maximum compensation rate is $1,195 and the minimum is $298.75.

Maximizing Worker’s Compensation Benefits

There are ways for an employee to pursue their claim so that they get the maximum worker’s compensation possible. 

For instance, determining their average weekly wage can be augmented with other earnings outside of their per-diem, such as:

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Commissions
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses
  • Allowances
  • Training pay
  • Vacation pay
  • Fringe benefits such as health insurance, 401(k) contributions, etc.

To learn how you can maximize your worker’s comp amount through sound legal means, you’ll want to consult with an experienced worker’s comp attorney.

Call a Virginia Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today

Attorney Jaleh K. Slominski is proficient in workers’ compensation claims, helping numerous Virginians determine what they are entitled to, maximize their benefits, and build a strong claim. With more than 30 years of legal practice, she is trusted by workers in the Lynchburg and Roanoke areas.

Talk to Attorney Slominski about your worker’s compensation concerns. Contact us by email, or call (434) 384-9400 (Lynchburg) or (540) 554-3762 (Roanoke).